Employees aged 50 and above who have been made redundant after the end of the furlough scheme, may start experiencing ageism within the recruitment process, a think tank has predicted.

With more than a third of people aged between 50-70 saying that they feel at a disadvantage in applying for jobs because of their age, many are pointing towards the impact of social media and online recruiting.

Age is one of the nine protected characteristics that is covered by the Equality Act of 2021 (EA). Therefore, job applicants have protection from discrimination in the workplace.

If employers believe their business may be following an ageist recruitment process, they ought to consider how to prevent this from happening.

Why is age-inclusivity important to business?

Recruiting inclusively to build a diverse workforce is extremely important for everyone.

Age-inclusivity benefits younger workers

Having older and more experienced workers in your team can help younger workers with gaining in-depth knowledge and skill sharing. Different age groups working together can help businesses thrive and allow them to see different perspectives and viewpoints that you wouldn’t necessarily have from one age group.

Age-inclusivity is great for business

A recent survey suggests that a firm with a 10 per cent higher share of workers aged 50 and over is 1.1 per cent more productive. This comes from lower job turnover, greater management, and the work experience of older workers.

How can my business reduce ageism?

For employers to engage with an older audience for future job opportunities, we think it is important to add these quick steps into your recruitment process:

Include age in your equality, diversion, and inclusion strategy

Employers should always include a short statement in their job adverts emphasising age-inclusivity.

Your business could be subject to legal challenges of discrimination if you do not take age into consideration in recruitment and other aspects of working policies.

When considering future applicants, it is important that no candidates are judged on ambiguous and informal criteria, such as a ‘poor cultural fit’.

Collect your data

Employers should collect and analyse the age profile of their current workforce as well as job applicant age groups to assess whether ads are attracting to all ages, rather than one specific group.

This could help you pinpoint any issues or improvements to be made in your recruitment process.

Optimise your job ads

It is highly recommended that employers include employer benefits that appeal to older workers, such as flexible working options.

Not only this but framing and wording your job adverts with care is key.

Consider using language that appeals more broadly to everyone. Also, avoid using age-biased language with phrases such as ‘recent graduate’ or ‘tech savvy’.

Ensuring that these job ads are circulated widely is crucial for employers to reach every age group.

Therefore, employers should make sure they are sharing job adverts as widely as they can across multiple platforms. This makes it more likely for them to reach people with a wider range of backgrounds and age groups.

At HR Caddy, we can guide you through the process of looking at your current workforce needs now and in the future. We can address any shortfalls identified in your recruitment process and work closely with you and our associate recruitment team to fill those gaps with the right candidates.

For more advice on this, please contact us today.